How is your life different these days? Is any facet of your life the same as it was prior to mid-March? You most likely have read numerous stories over the last five months that make you angry, that make you cry, or that make you want to stay in bed all day.
My life has permanently altered due to COVID. My story is not much different from everyone else’s, but it has taken five long months of emotional processing, of being angry, and of burying my head in the sand to finally be in a position to articulate my thoughts.
Who knew that a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement would change my perspective and the course of my life as a teacher and human being? In many ways, I am emerging from this as a better person. I am not always so angry (My husband might not agree.). I acknowledge that I need to ask others for help. I recognize that I take a really, really, really long time to make an important decision.
My default is humor. Anytime I become uncomfortable with tackling an issue head on or I am presented with challenging information, I tend to deflect with sarcasm and jokes. Case in point, my most popular emoji is the exploding brain. I pride myself on being a life-long learner, but holy cow have I truly existed in my own little bubble. Until now.
I am evolving. I am collaborating with fellow voice teachers, making deep connections and friendships without the b.s. notion of fear or that little voice in my head sinisterly whispering ‘will they steal my students?’
I am trying to learn patience with technology. I do not scream at the computer nearly as much as I used to, and I am grappling with internet MIDI, Cleanfeed, and SoundJack. Although every time I say ‘ethernet cable,’ my husband chuckles. And I enjoy Marco Polo immensely.
I am attempting to understand social media and to see it as an effective and meaningful way to engage my current (and future) students, and to like and comment on fellow teacher and singer pages. Although I am still not a fan of all those hashtags.
And finally, I took a stand. I made a decision to end a what I thought was a perfectly wonderful decade-long relationship that gave me a platform to write about my experiences as a singer and teacher and to share stories of other artists in their pain, joys and triumphs. Do I regret that decision? Not one bit. But it is my responsibility to make a difference in this world through music, and to continue to give a voice to others through my story-telling. And that starts now.
Am I a finished product? Have I achieved balance in my life? Hell, no. I work way too much. I do not take time to just sit and ponder. I have not practiced yoga in nearly two years. And what about singing? I have not performed in over three years.
This is the beginning of something new….expressing how I show up in the world, sharing stories of fellow musicians who have been deeply affected by the world around us, and taking a good, hard look at the systemic racism present in America.
Can you spare some change? I think we could all stand to use a little change in our lives. Be open and available with your heart and mind. You might be surprised where it leads you.
P.S. Do you have story you’d like to share? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. But hey, don’t do the FB or IG messenger thing. I am not that evolved. Yet.